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The opening ceremony of Women Deliver 2016 small
Photo courtesy: Petya Yankova 
The opening ceremony of Women Deliver 2016.

It is a disruption as well as a sign of hope to hear babies’ cries during the opening session of the 4th global conference on the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women. It is a reminder that women matter, that their energy and transformative power are changing communities. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark opened Women Deliver 2016 sharing her vision of “a world where a girl has just as much of a chance to survive, thrive and live her full potential as a boy”. The wish for economic and social equality between men and women was the uniting element which gathered more than 5000 youth leaders and activists, health professionals and human rights advocates in Copenhagen last week.

Published in Sixth Sense
women past
Photo: Paul Townsend (Flickr); Licence: CC BY-ND 2.0

In the past women have done a variety of jobs: from working in factories during war periods to steamming tobacco leaves.
In this picture Florence Brown, the first female Lord Major of Bristol, returns to her old job for a few minutes (June 1963).

 

Women's employment is one of those evergreen issues in the agenda of the old continent. Besides dusty stereotypes that still relegate women to few sectors of care and other social needs, the problem of women's employment has been worsened by the recent economic crisis. E&M author Nicoletta Enria approaches the topic and unveils European trends when it comes to women's education, wages and their presence in decision-making positions.

In the past couple of years, issues regarding gender equality have entered mainstream discourse with cries for gender parity by the likes of American actress Patricia Arquette in her Oscar acceptance speech and British actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson’s #HeForShe campaign calling for men to join the battle. Although proposals for gender equality in the economic, political and cultural spheres seem to have become popular again, how far has this actually gone in providing concrete progress for women? With a backdrop of financial instability bringing forth a rise in unemployment and austerity measures, what is the European job market looking like for women nowadays?

The European Commission stated in its 2014 Report on Equality between Men and Women that gender equality is not only a fundamental right but is also essential for economic growth. Needless to say, the financial crisis affected a whole generation, resulting in a sharp rise in unemployment, especially for young people. However, the proportion of inactive young women remains double that of young men. Austerity measures in countries such as Greece have led to cuts in public, health and care sectors — all sectors which normally employ women. This is leading to a rise in women unemployment and a rise in unpaid care work for women, with currently 45% of Greek women living below the poverty threshold. This also casts a light on the problem of occupational segregation, which is when your gender defines what ranking or job you get based on gender stereotypes deeply engrained in our society.

Published in Contentious Europe
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 00:00

Good Reads 25/03/2014

9962afd4d7801adbe96e49a2f2eab69f LGood Reads is returning on 6th sense! This week Lucy Duggan and Velislav Ivanov tell you about their most favorite articles. Read about a "stateless Palestinian with a Danish Passport", think differently about Britain, women and the catholic church!

Published in Good Reads
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